The Critical Eye
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. Matthew 12:1-14
Have you ever been around a person that is constantly complaining? Have you ever been that person? Perhaps all of us know someone that is always “pouring cold water” on a situation or known to be a “Johnny Rain-Cloud.” People who are hyper critical can find fault with even the best of things in life.
Think of it this way – Jesus was and is perfect. No fault. No sin. Nothing wrong with Jesus, and yet the hyper religious pharisees found what they perceived to be a fault – Jesus was healing people on the Sabbath day and that must constitute work in their ungracious estimation. These men were perceiving things the wrong way because they had conceived their own way of following God’s law. The expectations they demanded of others were a figment of their own thinking – not the Lord’s. They had added new rules to God’s Law for everyday for the year!
Everyone should grow in discernment. This is something the Bible says we should have. Being critical of others and having personal discernment are not the same thing. These religious leaders, many of whom could quote long passages of the Old Testament, did not have any practical smarts about them to see Jesus was doing better than the Law was actually calling for. Watch out – when you start to “nit-pick” others, your eye is becoming critical.
Here are several thoughts about the critical eye.
- Those with critical eyes tend to hold others to higher standards than they hold themselves.
- Those with critical eyes choose not to see the good that is evident all around them.
- Those with critical eyes are quick to complain and let their critique be known – no matter how foolish their words really are. Imagine – criticizing Jesus – doing good!
- Those with critical eyes neglect to have a close fellowship with God. Instead of praising God, they praise themselves with their proud stance and egotistical demands.
- Those with critical eyes get angry very fast. These irate leaders wanted to kill Jesus.
- Those with critical eyes are more emotional and listen less to common sense and reason. If a man had a sheep fall into a pit and he rescued it – how is it any better or worse for Jesus to heal a man with a withered hand? Their critical eye and angry heart refused basic reason and it diminished their thinking skills.
- Those with critical eyes fail to see the goodness of God.
Jesus did amazing things in His time on earth in the New Testament. I suggest to you that Jesus continues to to incredible things through His people – His church today. If you can’t see it – reexamine your heart. Check your spiritual eyesight. Sadly, there are many people who look at life like the Pharisees did.
Clean your classes off. Open the Bible and see our Good and Great God! Look to serve others by finding ways to carry others, not criticize them. Avoid having a critical eye.